X Marks Civilization

“So G-d created Man in His image, in the image of G-d He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27). On the sixth day of Creation came the crown of G-d’s handiwork: human beings, one male and one female.

Thus we read in last week’s Torah portion, Bereishit, the opening chapter of the entire Judaic canon.

“Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday signed a bill that adds a third gender category on birth certificates issued in New York City. The new non-binary identity category, known as X, is for those who don’t consider their gender to be male or female.”

Thus I read in my news feed yesterday.

The perverseness of this law seems screamingly self-evident. But it isn’t.

In recent years, “trans” rights have become a cause celebre. Yet this legislation goes far beyond transgender interests. In the past, the law allowed people who had sex change operations (the politically correct term is “gender confirmation” or “gender reassignment” surgery) to have their birth certificates changed accordingly. Then, in 2014, New York decided to allow people to change their gender designation at will, regardless of whether they had undergone any medical procedure. No doctor’s note required.

Now, New Yorkers can legally choose to eschew the two gender categories altogether. The move is in keeping with a cultural free-for-all that has given rise to a head-spinning, ever-growing vocabulary of identities: non-binary, intersex, gender-neutral, gender-fluid, pangender, cisgender—the list goes on. You can be everything and nothing, alternate between genders, call yourself “they,” answer to “we”. . . .  As you like it — and everyone better nod in agreement or risk being branded a narrow-minded puritan.

The insanity is not limited to New York City. Its law is the fifth of its kind in the US, and more are sure to follow wherever so-called progressives hold the reins. And it’s not just about what boxes people can check for their IDs. Making male and female public bathrooms a thing of the past has also become a legal battleground. (President Trump rescinded an Obama-era rule requiring federally-funded schools to allow students to choose whatever facilities match their chosen identity.)

The gender-free movement has broken through, and Israel is not immune to its influence. I was shocked when a recent article in The Jerusalem Post referred to the subject, a pro-BDS activist who had been detained at Ben-Gurion Airport, as “they” and “them” in accordance with her own request — leading to some rather confusing sentences. I wonder what the editors would have done had the person in question asked to be referred to as a refrigerator or the Queen of Sheba.

The left is all out of marbles. It has made a religion of subjective feelings that leaves no room for objective truth, let alone Divine mandate. This anti-normativeness has no logical limit. Did you know that there is a culture of people who call themselves “Furries,” dressing up as animals with whom they feel a kindred spirit? Perhaps they might wish to check a box reflecting that creature identity on their official documents. And how about age? It’s just a number, after all, so if I feel like a woman half my age, why shouldn’t I be able to adjust my birthdate to reflect that?

You can’t hope to change the minds of people who are out of theirs. But perhaps there is a way to end the madness. A Massachusetts state legislator, Republican Jim Lyons, brilliantly shafted a bill just like New York City’s (except that it pertained to driver’s licenses rather than birth certificates) by demanding that, in the interest of fairness, all the myriad other possible gender categories be included, not just a single, lump-’em-all-together “Gender X.” He then agreed to settle for only 73 gender designations, the number supposedly offered by Facebook, and proceeded to introduce each as a separate amendment to the proposed bill. He got as far as the 35th amendment before the legislature withdrew the measure.

A look at this week’s Torah portion, Noach, illustrates — in no less than three seminal episodes — what happens when a society jettisons basic moral standards. Hint: It doesn’t end well.

About the Author
Ziona Greenwald feels grateful to be living with her husband and children in Jerusalem, where she is a freelance writer and editor. She holds a J.D. from Fordham Law School, and worked both in publishing and in the court system back in New York, when Aliyah was still a dream to be realized.
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